No. 24 Harvard Opens 2012 Season at Home vs. San Diego

Colton Chapple will direct the Crimson full-time this season after putting up impressive numbers in four starts a year ago.
Colton Chapple will direct the Crimson full-time this season after putting up impressive numbers in four starts a year ago.

The Particulars
24th-ranked Harvard opens its 139th season of football at The Stadium against a new foe Saturday in the University of San Diego Toreros. Kickoff is at 12:30 p.m.

The game will be shown live on with Bernie Corbett and Mike Giardi '94 on the call. The game is part of the football season pass and can also be purchased as a one-time event. Streaming is offered on computers, iPads and iPhones. For those unable to watch the game live, it will also be available as an archived event immediately following the completion.

The game can be heard on the radio (WBNW 1120 AM, WPLM 1390 and WESO 790) with Corbett and Giardi '94 on the call as well as WHRB-FM 95.3 with student Charlie Hobbs.

Home Openers
Harvard has won its last 11 home openers. 

The Numbers
San Diego enters play at 1-1 after a come-from-behind 34-27 victory over Division II-member Western New Mexico at home last week. Mason Mills threw for 303 yards and four touchdowns, the last was a 29-yarder to Reggie Bell with a minute remaining as the Toreros  scored two touchdowns in the last 5:19. Mills hit Brandon White with a 12-yard scoring pass to tie it at 27-all, and after a Western New Mexico punt, San Diego drove 84 yards in nine plays to the winning TD. Mills completed 27 of 37 passes with no interceptions. White had eight catches for 96 yards and two touchdowns. 

Harvard of course, opens its season while much of the country is already in its third week of play. The Crimson, which averaged 37.4 points per game in 2011, finished the season at 9-1 overall, undefeated in the Ivy League  (7-0) and ranked 16th by TSN and 14th in the Coaches Poll, is a heavy favorite to repeat as Ivy League champions. Harvard returns 17 starters and 47 letterwinners with an offensive line featuring four preseason All-Ivy selections.

Series History
The two teams have never met before on the gridiron. 

Opposite Coasts, Similar Results
The teams have both had considerable success over the past 11 seasons with each ranking among the Football Championship Subdivision's top 10 in winning percentage. 

FCS 2001-11.............. W-L. Pct.
1.   Montana.............. 137-30 . 820
2.   Harvard............. . 87-22 .798
3.   Dayton ................. 80-26    .755
4.   Appalachian State 109-36 .752
5.   Grambling State... 93-36   .721
6.   Northern Iowa ..... 99-40   .712
7.   Penn ..................... 77-32  .706
      San Diego ............ 84-35   .706
9.   North Dakota State     68-28        .689
10. Georgia Southern 89-47    .674 

Over the past 14 years, Harvard has won six Ivy League championships (five outright) and had two undefeated seasons while posting the sixth-highest winning percentage in all of Division I football.

Div. I 2001-11........... W-L. Pct.
1.   Boise State.......... 126-17 .881
2.   Oklahoma....... ... 119-29 .818
      Montana.............. 124-28 .818
4.   Texas................... 117-28 .807
5.   USC ................... 101-25  .802
6.   Harvard............. . 87-22 .798
7.   LSU ................... 115-20      .793
8.  TCU ................... 109-29      .789
9.   Ohio State........... 100-28 .781
10. Dayton ................. 80-26    .755 

Non-Conference Call
Harvard has won 20 of its last 27 non-league games dating back to 2003. 

The Preseason Hype
Harvard was oft-mentioned in the preseason national rankings, earning mentions as high as 19th. Harvard has been tabbed 22nd by the Beyond Sports College Network, 25th by The Sports Network FCS, 19th in the preseason by Lindy's, 22nd by Athlon Sports and 23rd by both Phil Steele's College Football Preview and College Sports Madness. 

The Stadium
Harvard's record at Harvard Stadium since 2001 is 48-9 while winning 28 of its last 32 there. The team has five undefeated home marks in that stretch (6-0 in 2001, 5-0 in 2004, 5-0 in 2007, 5-0 in 2008, 5-0 in 2011). 

Where We Are Now
Saturday's game will be Harvard's 1,2523rd varsity football game. The Crimson has an all-time record of 821-381-50 (.672). 

Harvard has had at least one All-American in each of the last 13 years. 

Harvard Coach Tim Murphy
In his 19th season as Harvard's all-time winningest head coach, Tim Murphy enters Saturday's game with a 120-59 record with the Crimson and a 152-104-1 overall head coaching record, which includes five years at Cincinnati and two years at Maine. Murphy is one of just five coaches to win 100 games since the formation of the Ivy League in 1954. Murphy has led Harvard to six Ivy League championships (1997, 2001, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2011). Murphy serves as president for the American Football Coaches Association this season. He is 0-0 all-time against San Diego.  

Champions Abound
Every four-year player recruited by Crimson head coach Tim Murphy has both graduated and been part of at least one Ivy League championship team. Murphy has led Harvard to Ivy League championships in 1997, 2001, 2004, 2007, 2008 and 2011. 

Undefeated Seniors
Harvard gained its fifth-straight win over Yale in 2011, matching the school's best run in the series and providing a rare undefeated career for Harvard's seniors against the Bulldogs. In the series, six Harvard graduating classes have gone unbeaten against the Bulldogs with the latest coming from 2008-12. Yale has also had six such occurrences but none since a six-year undefeated streak from 1902-07 provided three graduating classes with perfect HY records. 

Pomp And Circumstance
Three Harvard players — senior defensive end John Lyon (Durham, N.C.), senior linebacker Joshua Boyd (Hyde Park, Mass.), senior offensive lineman Jim Deng (Old Saybrook, Conn.) — were valedictorians of their high school classes. 

Ivy Era Coaches
Since the formation of the Ivy League in 1956, just five coaches have reached the 100-win plateau with two of them being Harvard men. 

Carm Cozza, Yale: 179
Edward Robinson, Brown: 140**
Al Bagnoli, Penn: 136
Bob Blackman, Dartmouth: 127
George Woodruff, Penn: 124**
Tuss McLaughry, Brown & Dartmouth: 120**
Tim Murphy, Harvard: 120
Joe Restic, Harvard: 117
** - pre Ivy League formation 

San Diego Coach Ron Caragher
Ron Caragher enters his sixth season at USD. He enters play with a 37-20 record. His 2011 team finished with a 9-2 record, tied for the Pioneer Football League Championship, and was ranked in the FCS Coaches Poll Top 25 following the conclusion of the regular season. Caragher spent four seasons (2003-2006) at the University of Kentucky as an assistant coach and nine seasons (1994-2002) on UCLA's staff as a GA and assistant coach.